Should a Baby Sleep on a Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam is a highly appreciated material in the world of beds for adults, but is it the same for baby beds? Many new parents have expressed concerns about whether to let their newborn sleep on memory foam mattress which is why I decided to give the matter a bit more thought.
I talked to experts in the industry and experts in the medical field, and below I try to offer a concise reply to the most important concerns from parents everywhere, when it comes to memory foam.
The Level of Chemicals
The number one problem is the chemical smell that is specific to most memory foam mattresses. This usually dissipates after a few hours from the moment of unwrapping, but many parents find it worrying. Won’t the baby inhale what’s left of the chemicals
Well, first, you should know that memory foam is indeed a synthetic material and there’s an entire list of chemicals that go into producing it. However, none of the chemicals used are toxic to the human system and the mattresses produced in the US must follow strict rules towards this aspect.
According to the experts, there have been no registered cases of babies with allergies or any other problems from sleeping on a memory foam mattress. A baby that’s over 3 to 6 months old shouldn’t have any problems with sleeping on this type of mattress or pad. Still, this doesn’t mean that an allergic reaction can’t appear – after all, a baby can develop a reaction to latex, which is a 100% natural compound.
Overall, if you think the chemical smell is too strong, it’s best to get a mattress from a natural material like latex or wool.
Another fear parents have is that the baby will roll over on their face and won’t be able to turn for air. This concern shows up from one of the most important features of memory foam: responsiveness. I recently read on Try Mattress - memory foam bed section, that this feature is what makes this type of mattress so desirable.
Memory foam is sensitive to both heat and pressure, and when you lie down it creates a depression in the foam that cradles your body. Now, this depression will disappear and move across the mattress as you move. Finally, when you get up, the mattress will return to normal. However, according to the type of foam quality, the foam may take longer to regain its initial shape and this is what scares the parents.
According to experts in the field, high-quality memory foam is highly responsive and babies over 5 months shouldn’t have any problems with moving around. Still, it’s best to avoid it for infants who need a firm surface.
Finally, another concern from parents is that the baby will sink into the mattress while napping or sleeping. As I mentioned earlier, memory foam does allow your body to sink a bit, but this is under the action of pressure and heat. If we consider the body of a baby, there won’t be that much pressure on the mattress so sinking won’t be a problem.
However, it is important to choose high-density foam (5lb+) if you want the baby’s back to be well-supported. Low-quality foam is less supportive and does tend to form depressions in the middle. I also talked to several parents who use memory foam mattresses and they confirmed the baby doesn’t sink into the mattress.
As you can see, babies don’t really have a problem with memory foam mattresses, but if you are still concerned about the effects it might have, it’s best to listen to your gut. After all, you are the one responsible for your baby’s health and the market is rich in natural fiber mattress offers.